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New PV Panel Shows Promise for Solar Green House in Spain

by LiveModern Webmaster last modified Jan 17, 2012 01:01 AM
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by Glenn Meyers last modified Jan 16, 2012

According to Basque Research, Spain's ULMA Agrícola consortium and Tecnalia research center have developed a photovoltaic solar panel for greenhouses that generates electricity without an adverse effect on the crops growing inside.




 

 

This is good news for greenhouse operators.

According to Basque Research, Spain’s ULMA Agrícola consortium and Tecnalia research center have developed a photovoltaic solar panel for greenhouses that generates electricity without an adverse effect on the crops growing inside.

Basque Research provides the following details: “The new photovoltaic module developed by the ULMA Agrícola consortium, the innovation area of the ULMA Group, and Tecnalia allows electricity to be generated without the crops being affected by over-shading. Depending on the season of the year, solar radiation can be diverted by taking advantage of the annual oscillation in the height of the sun’s trajectory; this is achieved through a lens-based optical system. Without the need for any solar mechanical monitoring, the technology allows the needs imposed by any crop to be met.”

During the winter the light inside the greenhouse, a key parameter for correct plant development, barely falls. But in summer the optical system diverts solar radiation towards the photovoltaic cells that make up the module, thus achieving a dual aim: to provide the greenhouse with cooling during the critical period of high temperatures and to increase electricity production through the photovoltaic system.

Crops that will be used in the initial winter testing phase will be tomatoes and peppers. They were chosen because of their common use worldwide. Additionally, these valuable greenhouse products require a large amount of light. The crops will be compared to those grown under a normal glass roof.

Tests are being conducted at a 400 square meter (478 sq.yd.) UMLA Agrícola greenhouse owned by Neiker Tecnalia at Derio in the Basque Country. Under these tests, temperature, humidity and total radiation of the interior are being monitored, as well as photosynthetically active radiation, which is the band of solar radiation useful to plants for photosynthesis.

Photos: Basque Research



 

 

 
 
 

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